RISK INSIGHT: Active Shooter Survival Tips – Part 3

Property & Casualty, Risk

Facing an Armed Intruder or Active Shooter – Part 3

Is everyone in your organization prepared to deal with an armed intruder or an active shooter?  This M3 blog series can help.  Each post will share lifesaving tips to help you increase your chances of survival when the unthinkable happens.


Awareness is your best personal and professional protection mechanismNo matter where you are or what you are doing, develop a thorough understanding of your surroundings. Know how to safely evacuate and/or barricade your area. And, as a last resort, understand when and how to fight an intruder.

  • Assess your surroundings every time you enter a building. Look around – try to find at least two (2) exit routes. Take the time to enter and leave the building using different routes. This familiarity with the building layout will be beneficial during a real evacuation.
  • Always ‘Say Something.’ Don’t hesitate to report suspicious activities, people, or vehicles to law enforcement.  It is law enforcement’s job to determine if there is a threat present. The safest organizations expand on this concept and follow a ‘Hear or see something? Say or do something.’ campaign.   If you hear or see something (in person or on social media) that causes concern, bring it to a supervisor and/or the authorities.  Also, if you hear or see signs of imminent danger – gunshots, yelling, screaming, or reports of an intruder – don’t go to verify what is happening, ACT!!!!  Initiate your pre-planned ‘action script.’
  • Maintain a brightly colored crisis plan in the same location in every area/room of your organization. The best defense is a good offense.
  • Look around the room for potential weapons. Many everyday objects can be used as weapons or to distract/disable an armed intruder or shooter.
  • Create a personal ‘Ripple of Safety.’ During a lockdown or evacuation, know how to:
    • Make yourself safe as quickly as possible
    • Notify others so they can get safe and begin their own ‘ripple of safety’
    • Activate your organization’s emergency notification system
    • Call ‘911’

It is important to always be observant. Use all of your senses, be attentive to your surroundings, and trust your instincts. When we ignore our ‘gut’ – trouble often follows.  When you sense an unexplained concern or uneasiness about someone or something, look deeper at the situation or person and identify if there is danger of a pending attack.  Initially your biggest obstacle will be DENIAL – get past denial and ACT!

Source: M3 Senior Risk Manager, Ted Hayes and Captain Mike Bolender of the Peaceful Warrior Training Group  partnered on M3’s “Prepared, Not Scared” seminar series. Content from those sessions is shared in this blog series.

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